om namo bhagavate narasimhaya namas tejas-tejase avir-avirbhava vajra-nakha vajra-damstra karmasayan randhaya randhaya tamo grasa grasa om svaha; abhayam abhayam atmani bhuyistha om ksraum.
om—O Lord; namah—my respectful obeisances; bhagavate—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; nara-simhaya—known as Lord Nrsimha; namah—obeisances; tejah-tejase—the power of all power; avih-avirbhava—please be fully manifest; vajra-nakha—O You who possess nails like thunderbolts; vajra-damstra—O You who possess teeth like thunderbolts; karma-asayan—demoniac desires to be happy by material activities; randhaya randhaya—kindly vanquish; tamah—ignorance in the material world; grasa—kindly drive away; grasa—kindly drive away; om—O my Lord; svaha—respectful oblations; abhayam—fearlessness; abhayam—fearlessness; atmani—in my mind; bhuyisthah—may You appear; om—O Lord; ksraum—the bija, or seed, of mantras offering prayers to Lord Nrsimha.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Nrsimhadeva, the source of all power. O my Lord who possesses nails and teeth just like thunderbolts, kindly vanquish our demonlike desires for fruitive activity in this material world. Please appear in our hearts and drive away our ignorance so that by Your mercy we may become fearless in the struggle for existence in this material world.
“Devotees always engaged in the service of the toes of the Lord’s lotus feet can very easily become free from hard-knotted desires for fruitive activities. Because this is very difficult, the nondevotees—the jnanis and yogis—cannot stop the waves of sense gratification, although they try to do so. Therefore you are advised to engage in the devotional service of Krsna, the son of Vasudeva.”
Every living being within this material world has a strong desire to enjoy matter to his fullest satisfaction. For this purpose, the conditioned soul must accept one body after another, and thus his strongly fixed fruitive desires continue. One cannot stop the repetition of birth and death without being completely desireless. Therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami describes pure bhakti (devotional service) as follows:
“One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Krsna favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.” Unless one is completely freed of all material desires, which are caused by the dense darkness of ignorance, one cannot fully engage in the devotional service of the Lord. Therefore we should always offer our prayers to Lord Nrsimhadeva, who killed Hiranyakasipu, the personification of material desire. Hiranya means “gold,” and kasipu means “a soft cushion or bed.” Materialistic persons always desire to make the body comfortable, and for this they require huge amounts of gold. Thus Hiranyakasipu was the perfect representative of materialistic life. He was therefore the cause of great disturbance to the topmost devotee, Prahlada Maharaja, until Lord Nrsimhadeva killed him. Any devotee aspiring to be free of material desires should offer his respectful prayers to Nrsimhadeva as Prahlada Maharaja did in this verse.
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